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Trump also went after McConnell’s wife, former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, for resigning her cabinet post after the Jan. 6 insurrection.

A spokesperson for McConnell, the Kentucky Republican who was just reelected to a seventh six-year term last year, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest verbal broadside against McConnell, the most powerful Republican still in elected office, comes as Trump reemerges as a dominant force in GOP politics. The former president has, in recent days, sought to rev up his small-dollar fundraising apparatus, and he is issuing a steady stream of endorsements for the 2022 midterm elections, in addition to battles over state party chairmanships.

Though many of Trump’s 2022 endorsements align with McConnell’s preferences, including backing a number of incumbent GOP senators for reelection, he has occasionally gotten crosswise with the Senate leader. Trump has pledged to oppose GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski in next year’s Alaska elections after Murkowski voted for his conviction in the Senate trial, though McConnell and his top allies say they will support Murkowski’s reelection.

It isn’t the first time Trump has gone after McConnell since leaving office. In February, Trump released an extensive statement bashing McConnell for being “a dour, sullen, and unsmiling political hack.” The statement came just days after McConnell took to the Senate floor to flay Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

Several attendees said there was little response to Trump’s insult.

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Much of Trump’s Saturday night speech was aimed at relitigating the election results, on which the former president has remained fixated. At one point he said he remained disappointed with Pence for not doing more to stop the certification of the election, which he called “rigged.”

Trump’s ongoing criticism of Pence has created a rift in their relationship. While several other potential 2024 Republican hopefuls made the trek to South Florida for the event, Pence did not.

The former president also savaged Fauci, saying that he gave him bad advice. He poked fun of Fauci for botching a first pitch at last year’s opening day game for the Washington Nationals.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who spoke before Trump, also went after Fauci, sources said.

The three-day event drew a number of potential 2024 GOP contenders, including DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Also present were several 2022 midterm election candidates, including Jane Timken and Bernie Moreno, both of whom are seeking Ohio’s open Senate seat.

The confab was held mainly at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, though for the Saturday evening dinner attendees made the short jaunt north up A1A to Mar-a-Lago.


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Trump super PAC to hold first fundraiser at Bedminster

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A pro-Donald Trump super PAC is holding its first fundraising event on May 22 at the former president’s Bedminster golf club, according to two people familiar with the planning.

The event will benefit Make America Great Again Action, a super PAC spearheaded by former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Trump is expected to attend the event, which will include reception and a dinner. The minimum price for entry is $250,000.

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Trump tapped Lewandowki earlier this year to oversee the super PAC as part of his post-White House political operation. It’s the second big money group Trump has formed. Shortly after the election, he launched Save America PAC, a leadership PAC that has raised tens of millions of dollars.


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Pierre ‘Pete’ du Pont IV dies; ran for president in 1988

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“I was born with a well-known name and genuine opportunity. I hope I have lived up to both,” du Pont said in announcing his longshot presidential bid in September 1986.

As a presidential candidate, du Pont attracted attention for staking out controversial positions on what he hoped would reverberate with voters as “damn right” issues. They included random drug testing for high school students, school vouchers, replacing welfare with work, ending farm subsidies, and allowing workers to invest in individual retirement accounts as an alternative to Social Security.

Some of those ideas have since become more mainstream.

He won the endorsement of New Hampshire’s largest newspaper but failed to gain traction among voters. He ended his campaign after finishing next-to-last in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.

Afterward, du Pont remained engaged in politics. He frequently wrote opinion pieces for publications such as the Wall Street Journal and co-founded the online public policy journal IntellectualCapital.com. He also served as chairman of Hudson Institute, the National Review Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonpartisan public policy research organization.

Pierre du Pont IV was born Jan. 22, 1935, in Delaware. After attending Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, he graduated from Princeton University in 1956 with an engineering degree. Following a four-year stint in the Navy, he obtained a law degree from Harvard University in 1963.

He joined the Du Pont Company, where he held several positions, resigning as a quality control supervisor in 1968 to begin his political career.

After running unopposed for a state House seat in 1968, he immediately set his sights on Congress, running as a fiscal conservative and winning the first of three terms in 1970.

Elected governor in 1976, du Pont fought successfully to restore financial integrity to a state he had declared “bankrupt” shortly after his inauguration. He presided over two income tax cuts; constitutional amendments restricting state spending and requiring three-fifths votes in the legislature to raise taxes; and establishment of an independent revenue forecasting panel.

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After a rocky start with Democratic legislators, including an embarrassing override of a 1977 budget veto, du Pont forged successful relationships with lawmakers from both parties to tackle thorny issues including prison overcrowding and corruption and school desegregation. He was re-elected in a landslide in 1980, winning a record 71 percent of the vote and becoming the first two-term governor in Delaware in 20 years.

In his second term, du Pont signed landmark legislation that loosened Delaware’s banking laws, including removing the cap on interest rates that banks could charge customers. The Financial Center Development Act made Delaware a haven for some of the country’s largest credit card issuers.

Under du Pont’s leadership, Delaware also established a nonprofit employment counseling and job placement program for Delaware high school seniors not bound for college. It served as the model for a national program adopted by several other states.

Prohibited by law from seeking a third term, du Pont briefly withdrew to the private sector, joining a Wilmington law firm in 1985. A year and a half later, he announced his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, becoming the first declared candidate in the 1988 campaign.

During an appearance at the Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington, where du Pont announced he was abandoning his presidential campaign, he praised an electoral process that gave a shot at the White House to a former small-state governor with unorthodox ideas.

“You’ve given me the opportunity of a lifetime. You listened, you considered and you chose. I could not have asked for any more,” du Pont said. “For in America, we do not promise that everyone wins, only that everyone gets a chance to try.”

Du Pont is survived by his wife of over 60 years, the former Elise R. Wood; a daughter and three sons; and 10 grandchildren.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date, Perkins said.


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Larry Hogan decries ‘circular firing squad’ within GOP

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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Sunday the Republican Party experienced its “worst four years we’ve had, ever” under President Donald Trump, noting the party’s losses in both chambers of Congress and the White House.

“We’ve got to get back to winning elections again. And we have to be able to have a Republican Party that appeals to a broader group of people,” said Hogan, a Republican, on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “Successful politics is about addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division.”

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Hogan’s comments comes as Republicans deliberate on the future of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) in the party’s House leadership, particularly over her repeated criticisms of Trump, which many Republicans view as breaking ranks and distracting from the party’s opposition to President Joe Biden. House Republicans are expected to strip Cheney of her role as conference chair and replace her with Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).


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